Pre-emptive Policing

by craig on June 12, 2013 9:30 am in Uncategorized

I am deeply concerned about pre-emptive policing,  or arresting people who might be going to do something wrong.  I frankly don’t believe the BBC’s claim that intelligence indicated that anti-G8 protestors in Soho had weapons, or at any rate I do not believe it was honest intelligence.  I note there are no reports of these weapons actually having been discovered.

The rounding up, arresting and beating of groups of protestors before they had even begun to protest is so taken for granted in London now that I can find no reflection in the media of the outrage I feel.  If an old duffer like me feels completely alienated from the authoritarian state in which I find I now live, how do younger, more radical people feel?  There seems a terrible divide between the corporate-political elite surrounded by their massive Praetorian guard at Bilderberg, and everybody else.  Society is not stable.

The BBC has lost all sense of self-knowledge.  Yesterday it displayed scenes of police beating protestors for no apparent reason on the streets of London, which was presented as protecting innocent shoppers on Oxford Street.  This immediately followed very similar scenes of police beating protestors on the streets of Istanbul, which was portrayed as a terrible act of anti-Western suppression.  Irony is dead.

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  1. Donald MacDonald

    12 Jun, 2013 - 9:47 am

    I tweeted about this at the time. Absolute scandal. This isn’t creeping authoritarianism, it’s leaping authoritarianism.

    Time for a revolution. The British establishment will never change itself, it needs to be changed by radical action. The Scots leaving the Union may just save democracy in the British Isles.

  2. I seem to remember the police first started implementing Orwell’s ideas on Thoughtcrime during the big miners’ strike, when they arrested flying pickets before they’d even left home. And what year was that? 1984

  3. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Jun, 2013 - 9:52 am


    Sayeeda Warsi visited Uzbekistan yesterday

  4. Pre-Crime Punishment Enforcment

    Police stopping people protesting = Dictatorship

    I feel your pain Craig

  5. I’m glad you’ve posted on this as I was thinking exactly this yesterday. The article in The Standard last night was outrageous. And to see the police over reaction is living proof that they are only interested in low fruit instead of tackling real crime. Hopeless.

  6. I read about mass arrests in the UK during the late 1980s as a means of controlling ‘acid-house’ parties. Although I was never interested
    in attending these events, and did not particularly like the mind set of those who went to ‘acid-house’ it still seemed upsetting that the government chose the route of heavy muscle based policing for these
    events which by the nature of their suppression became riotous assemblies, with the riots being started by the police themselves.

    The Thatcher regime went to considerable trouble to outlaw acid-house with legislation condemning music with ‘loud repetitive beats’ and suchlike. The population as a whole did not seem to object.

  7. Individually the average person will not approve of such police state tactics, but when it comes time to actually do anything about it very few care, in my less than humble opinion. We are bombarded with so many distractions (TV, internet, apps, making ends meet) and for most of us we are still just comfortable enough to not risk this to do anything.
    Basically we either consciously or subconsciously know we’re living in the Matrix and dirty empire maintaining wars and policing are the things propping it all up. Things we all really know to a lesser or greater degree but don’t say:

    * Rich white collar types do not do time for even the largest and lethal crimes (HSBC, financial crisis, Blair, Bush, etc);
    * Poor are exploited, marginalized, scapegoated and sacrificed (Tea Party).
    * Middle-class are taxed, brainwashed and kept comfortable and busy enough to prevent trouble. (The Guardian)
    * Media and especially BBC are puppets to preserve above. (see work of Media Lens)
    * Most wars are about resources (got to admire Trump’s honesty).
    * Climate change is probably true and we’re all going to hell on a hand cart, but hey, this environment stuff is all very well but I mean what about jobs?
    * People like Assange, Snowden, Manning, you just cause trouble and risk breaking the Matrix. And you make me feel bad and cause my head to hurt.

    I honestly believe that police in UK will soon disappear and murder people openly and will meet minimal resistance for doing so. They must have done something wrong! I mean that Menezes should not have been “looking like a terrorist” and living here.
    Sorry about depressing tone, but feels about right today… doesn’t mean that we should stop trying to right the wrongs.

  8. I think Nevermind put his finger on it in the last couple of days: our protesters are naive to think that, the police aren’t usually slightly ahead of their planning. One of the most important aims of public action has to be to publicise the cause at issue. The police effort is aimed at preventing this. Pre-emptive detention is wholly logical in this context. The most effective protests, such as Taksim, come right out of the blue, unite disparate groups with a clearly articulated grievance, and are so massive as to be unignorable by the media – indeed to attract foreign media. Arresting people who haven’t done anything wrong comes too late to affect the common purpose, and is seen across the world.
    We should not be protesting at Bilderberg or G8. The protests are easily anticipated by government, as easily neutralised and at this stage only attract minority interests. We should instead be protesting being governed by a cabal of complacent Etonians and their obsequious hangers-on, who have converted this country into a cash cow for very rich people who do very little of what most of us consider to be work. This concept attracts cross-party support, and unites UKIP and the Socialist Workers. The Turkish protests began with the proposed re”development” of a recreational area of some charm in a city rather short on recreational areas: ostensibly nothing to do with the motor for the current eruption, which was not too different from what the majority of UK citizens are suffering right now: a government imposing policies which have not been democratically tested.

    The Turks, if I can generalise, are a damn sight more persistent than we are. They are much more comfortable with acting together for a common cause, if the cause is big enough. And perhaps they are braver. But should we ever decide to emulate them – it will be a zeitgeist thing, not organised by agitators on Twitter – God help our rulers.

    Rant ends.

  9. I agree Craig. Sky News were worse though. They were covering it live well before the BBC got on to it. Their harpie Kay Burley sounded like the Met’s PR dept at times especially when the incident occurred on the roof of the empty Beak Street premises.

  10. Exactly

    The suppression of civil liberties in Britain is now so commonplace that few notice it. If activists are beaten by police on the streets of London, it part of the routine of the police preventing disruption to shopping. If demonstrators are kettled for several hours (i.e under indiscriminate street arrest without access to food, drink, toilets), it is the most practical way of clearing space for people to “go about their business.” Etc.

  11. Addendum:
    …a government imposing policies which have not been democratically tested and which benefit only its close associates

  12. What is apparent from your observations here and from the revelations about Prism and telephone call interceptions is that the general public is now perceived as high-risk and possibly now a greater threat to the ruling elite than traditional perceived enemies – traditionally Johnny foreigners who are easily identifiable because they don’t speak English and look different from us.

    They are scared that the general public might finally work out that the forces which are supposed to keep us quiet and under control are insufficient to do the job without getting a lot tougher, a lot nastier and keeping a very close eye on what we might be up to in any collective sense. The best way to keep this giant sleeping is more simple: not to abuse us with bad government. Phoney austerity measures, unjustified wars thousands of miles away and high unemployment at home may look attractive strategies to keep us under control, but they are misguided and will instigate civil unrest which modern communication systems enable more efficiently than ever. Megalomaniac monitoring does not remove the problem which does not need to be a problem in the first place.

    This all started out as part of the “War on Terror” after 9/11 and changing regimes which did not do what they were told, but has mutated into a totalitarian clamp-down on the general population in case we rise up and threaten the plans and power of the elite. Look at Turkey, look at Egypt, look at Greece. I believe gross civil unrest in these countries was not part of Washington’s and Whitehall’s plans for the world, and they are frightened it may accelerate closer to home if they do not assert their authority over us.

    Many of us thought that World War II put an end to fascism – but it seems a tough nut to crack.

  13. “If an old duffer like me feels completely alienated from the authoritarian state in which I find I now live, how do younger, more radical people feel”?

    Sometimes I think that we ‘old duffers’ are more outraged and “alienated” by the “authoritarian state in which [we] now live” than many younger members of our society. Having less experience they unquestionably accept the society in which they live … and they’re well conditioned by the media.

    I note KinfofWelshNoir’s post on the miner’s strike … he’s right but, bizarrely, I felt that after this disgusting abuse of police/state power things could only improve … how wrong I was.

    Disappointment is the strongest of emotions.

  14. I would love to see British people spontaneously form their
    OWN parliament, make up of ordinary people who participate
    debate and implement it’s findings, totally ignoring rotten Westminster.
    Why not? It would be a high level of freedom and democracy, no?
    (In the absence of shariah of course)

  15. @Craig “I frankly don’t believe the BBC’s claim..”

    (Gasp) The BBC lying? Frank Gardner, OBE deliberately telling an untruth?

    Evidence that some of these protestors are nutters comes from footage of police having to stop one throwing himself off a 65-foot roof.

  16. @ Komodo
    “We should not be protesting at Bilderberg or G8.” – Most certainly we would. It’s a sign to all that there is resistance to what’s going on. The problem is that people think protest is the be-all and end-all of resistance. It’s not… it’s just the beginning, and it’s LONG past being the step that we should be on.

  17. *sigh*, Most certainly we SHOULD. Tq.

  18. Many of us thought that World War II put an end to fascism – but it seems a tough nut to crack.

    What a refreshing degree of optimism on display?! A very clear example of the success of the mis-education program that is passed as “education”.

    WWII was fought over which brand of fascism is to be imposed. The competing fascist could only settle their differences in the only way they know; kick the crap out of each other. That is of course their constituents got the crap kicked out of them, the fascist bosses just sat back and wound up the respective demographies to go to war; kill each other, destroy whatever they had for public use, and enrich their patrons and sponsors.

    Hence the never ending praise of war; without the military industry our technology would not have advanced as far! As far up whose jacksie is never mentioned or explored, but hey fascists always tell a good story and stick to it; “we went to war to fight fascism” yeah I should cocoa too.

  19. Komodo has said it, the general public has to wise up and yes Tony, it is us they fear most.

    If demonstrations were happening all over the country, rather than conveniently all in one place, easy to handle, then it should be possible to show their establishment bias and friendly relations with the hacking media, not to speak of the police federation, an animal of its own kind.

    I have seen a broken down G4S security wagon yesterday in Rampant Horse Street, central Norwich, most likely full of consumer loot, it was guarded by two policemen, their car blue light flashing, a moment were the crass bias in policing was in full public view and people did recognise it, some made comments.

    Organising locally at meetings were people know each other, not on the phone or online. Organise local groups and plan your actions, then put them in a drawer and wait for the right moment. Act decisively and instant, be non violent and respect others in your group and the general public you are disturbing. Always explain yourself to the public but do not let this stop you from doing what needs to be done.

    My concern is with activists, as Craig said, they get disillusioned and dulled down, so keeping activists safe from the start should be a goal. You can do actions without the police knowing, its totally down to your own preps.

    Far from talking about what could be done, that’s down to individual areas discussing their own scope, I merely point to the fact that decentralised actions are safer for activists.
    a very important point to make……
    Aim to make the public laugh, thoughtful points brought over with humour are always remembered by people.

    here is an example. Toms top down tour of County Hall Norfolk, with commercial contracts at full view in Norfolk Property Law offices open to all and sundry.
    He was charged but his court case dismissed as too much faults of the council would have come out.

  20. KingofWelshNoir, agreed, pre-emptive policing has been going on for thirty years and nobody knows when the knock on the door is going to come any more. If you are a Muslim it is even worse. The most serious example I can think of is what the police initially did, and the government continued to do, to Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan who collectively spent 14 years in UK prisons without charge before being sent to supermax “torture” prisons in the United States. Blair’s illegal war led to a selective abolition of habeas corpus applied only to the British Muslim community.

    I have made the following FOI request on behalf of Syed Talha Ahsan. I would appreciate it if anyone with an interest in seeing justice done and a fair response from the FCO would click the Follow button to show that other people have an interest in getting answers to some of the questions raised.


  21. @nevermind
    Some activists get disillusioned as their activism achieves nothing because they never step off first base of the resistance diamond. Protest, obstruct, go where you’re told not to go, refuse to pay tax (The US and British govt are funding terrorism by the way, it’s only right to refuse to pay) refuse to vote, withdraw your money from the banks. That will see change get moving – particularly the latter.

  22. Words pretty much fail me at how utterly fucked up it all is.

    Every day seems to bring forth another boot in the balls for sanity,basic human decency and Truth.

    It cant go on like this.

    We are in a time of definitions.

    Choose wisely.

  23. @ Komodo
    “We should not be protesting at Bilderberg or G8.” – Most certainly we would. It’s a sign to all that there is resistance to what’s going on.

    Factional demos are easy to characterise as the actions of a small, and by implication, eccentric, minority. Which, in purely numerical terms, is usually the case.

    “What do we want?”
    “An effective Tobin tax on financial transactions to pay for the cost to the community of injudicious trading in the City”
    “Eh? Just a minute, have to look it up…oh…hey, you’re Communists , aren’t you? When do we want it?”

    The problem is that people think protest is the be-all and end-all of resistance. It’s not… it’s just the beginning, and it’s LONG past being the step that we should be on.

    It’s the step we are on, though. More deprivation will be necessary to change the political climate. Looks like that, at any rate, is being ensured by our betters, which is why I think there’s a chance for general, rather than factional protest.

    I agree with Nevermind, not for the first time. The public mood isn’t altered by watching demonstrators on TV, and it isn’t altered by shouting the odds dogmatically (like me). It’s altered by people talking to people they can trust and believe and respect, who are saying what they have for some time been on the verge of thinking.

  24. Lwtc – Add to your list -“stop buying stuff you don’t actually need.”, and I agree with you to some extent. However, some means of fouling up the works simply result in legislation designed to unfoul them and penalise you. Choose wisely, indeed.

  25. O/T but you have written about this outrageous injustice before Craig. From the two Davids.

    Chagos marine park is lawful, High Court rules
    Posted by The Editors on June 12, 2013, 10:54 am

    A UK government decision to create a marine park in the Indian Ocean has been upheld by the High Court.

    The controversial reserve was set up around the UK-controlled Chagos Islands in 2010, with commercial fishing banned in areas.

    Former residents said it would effectively bar them from returning because fishing was their livelihood.

    The islanders were evicted in the 1960s to make way for the US Air Force base on the largest island, Diego Garcia.

    Sitting in the High Court in London, Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Mitting ruled the marine protected area (MPA) was “compatible with EU law”.

    This latest challenge is part of the islanders’ long-running legal battle for the right of return.

  26. Will the PSNI react in the same manner to the likely protests at Lough Erne where CameraOn and his G8 mates meet up on the 17th?

    I learnt last night that there are major plans to despoil the very beautiful surroundings of the Lough to frack out 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas which will involve erecting over 60 pads (wellheads).

    Local opposition is growing.


    G8 summit: Irish trade unions call in human rights monitors
    Union congress fears erosion of right to protest amid Northern Ireland’s largest-ever security operation to guard world leaders in County Fermanagh

    Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
    Tuesday 11 June 2013 16.16 BST

    and more here. £4m for the fence!

  27. I just can’t take this anymore…

  28. While there is some truth in the view of a cynical corporatist elite exploiting everyone else, I suggest that that underestimates the problem. Corporate ideology is much more deeply rooted within us than this ‘them vs us’ understanding of the issue implies. Here’s an analogy, from environmental theorist John Rodman:

    “Some modifications seem difficult and paradoxical to reverse. The buffalo herd in Stanley Kramer’s film “Bless the Beasts and Children’ thunders out of the pen, released by the daring efforts of a group of heroic boys, only to stop and graze peacefully on a nearby hill, allowing themselves to be rounded up and imprisoned again. Elsa, the Adamsons’ pet lioness, ‘born free’ and then tamed, must be laboriously trained (sic!) to become a wild predator before she can be safely released. Of such ambiguous stories is the mythology of the human condition in the ‘post industrial’ age composed.”

    As Rodman suggests, we (industrialised) humans are peculiarly blind to our own blindness – perhaps because we hubristically assume that we (i.e. humans) are ‘in control’. It seems to me that paradoxically, we won’t regain any degree of control until we realise the extent of our current powerlessness, and correspondingly, the actual power of the system which transcends our awareness.

  29. Pre-emptive policing eh?

    Whatever next?

    The pre-emptive exoneration of the police at the ‘independent’ inquiry before any crime has occurred?

  30. June, why don’t you use the flaming inverted commas on your key board? Or you may recall Jon, the moderator’s very recent advice:

    8 Jun, 2013 – 2:12 pm
    I see there was some discussion earlier about how to quote from other sources, so it is clear what is your own prose and what is a quote. To do it, use the {blockquote} tag (but use angle brackets rather than braces). Better yet, wrap with both {blockquote} and {em}. So, use this (substituting angle brackets of course):

    {blockquote}{em}Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt{/em}{/blockquote}

    And that will look like this:

    Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt


    One would like to be able to spot readily what you are saying separately from what you are quoting, without having to sift it out. Hope a couple of more clicks is not too much to ask for?

  31. @ Komodo.
    “It’s the step we are on,” – Yes, but it’s the step we have glued ourselves on.
    Bags use WD40 first :)
    If we are worried what pathetic label they will fling at us, or that one or a few of us will be made an example of, then really, let’s give up now. I know you agree no matter what niggles you may have.

  32. @John Goss


    That’s some FOI request. I’d hate to be on the receiving end of it. And I have dealt with more than one in my day.

    You’ve pulled the knots so tight that I suspect their only response will be to tell you to F ough.

    Following with interest.

  33. Hope you recover Chris

  34. It’s good to see the passion on display here, it means there are still plenty of us left with the capacity to be shocked by these things.

    I agree with Indigo:

    Sometimes I think that we ‘old duffers’ are more outraged and “alienated” by the “authoritarian state in which [we] now live” than many younger members of our society.

    Too true; the 9/11 generation have not known anything else whereas the rest of us can clearly remember how it never used to be like this.

  35. KoWN makes a valid point about the long lineage of heavy handed pre-emptive policing in the UK. Before the miners strike the most blatant exercise was probably against the Committee of 100 in the early sixties-

    However, large swathes of the population agree with these measures when they are aimed at groups who offend the sensibilities of borgeouis ‘decents’, be they football supporters, the EDL, or acid house ravers. The police, of course, welcome the overtime these excursions generate, and quite a few of them enjoy cracking a few heads in the process.

    Mind you, when taken by surprise, and confronted by an energised criminal lumpenproletariat (as in Tottenham & Croydon 2 summers ago) the boys in blue go all ‘softly softly’.

  36. Lwtc –
    Perhaps the best response to the step problem is Runner 77’s above. In which, I would nigglingly include the conditioned reflex: “Bastards! Demo! Demo!” The extreme version of my position is that you can tell the small part of the world you can reach how you feel as loudly as you like, but no-one gives a flying one unless they feel the same.

  37. Welcome to the future now folks.

    Pre-emptive policing,DNA profiling.Genetic triage.Individual internet pre-emptive bans.indefinite arrest without trial or evidence.Torture.Drones.Extraordinary rendition.Total surveillance from bjrth to death.All corporations a branch of military-industrial spookdom.Telematic,media and tech convergence.Behavioural profiling pre-birth to post-death.No right of appeal,ever.Global financial scams with total impunity for the scamsters.

    Ever read the patents of the corporations whose products fill your homes and pockets? Ever wonder about those tiny little holes on your Samsung TV,or Apple Smartech,your microwave,laptop,desktop,Xbox etc?

    2-way cameras and microphones,remotely controllable.

    There will be no film,top ten single,TV show,politician,celeb,media narrative,clothing style,food,sporting event that hasnt been vetted and approved by the espiocracy.

    Total information awareness,full spectrum dominance?

    The greatest full system of global blackmail potential and fear you could ever imagine.

    This is now.

    2-way cameras and microphones,remotely controllable.

  38. They can’t arrest treasonous criminals with their fingers caught in the cookie jar as Fox and Werrity were but assemble to protest, now there’s a reason for the Jackboots to bounce into action.
    Our police have never been the same since Thatcher used them as her very own paramilitary to kill Unionism. The police were under orders to hurt the pickets.My dad was a policeman and my brother in law a miner.
    Now of course they are a Corporate tool.Keep protest out of the camera’s lens and divide by 10 their estimated number at protest rallies.
    If they don’t remember who they serve then they’ll be first in line to get it when the camels back goes.

  39. Pre-emptive arrest goes with the Panopticon. It is good old fashioned British Utilitarianism, and it was used in the Empire every day for centuries.
    That doesn’t excuse it but it goes some way to explaining the British public’s inherited indifference towards the civil rights of others whom authority deems suspicious or simply “in need of a good hiding.”
    The Empire has come home, as voracious as ever, and it will brook no interference with its lust for wealth and power.

  40. KingofWelshNoir/Chris2

    “…the 9/11 generation have not known anything else whereas the rest of us can clearly remember how it never used to be like this.”

    Valid point but they are human beings nevertheless and they can’t therefore feel right in their human skin. In fact, i submit that we got too cosy and comfortable when things never used to be like this IN THE WEST. The turmoil was all far away and the protests relatively token and symbolic.

    Now the disease has spread throughout the West and its absolutely nothing to do with immigration. It has happened through a process of consciousness — the chickens have come home to roost. As Chris says ” The Empire has come home, as voracious as ever, and it will brook no interference with its lust for wealth and power.”

    I meet a lot of young people between the ages of Manning, Snowden and Assange. They are asking a lot of the right questions, which we weren’t asking at their age and they are evidently protesting with right action, not just banners. Perhaps that’s why the Establishment feels threatened.

    The internet is also changing the dynamics in infinite ways and is already capable of a direct democracy but Society is far from ready, with the Establishment preferring to use the internet for its self-serving surveillance purposes.

  41. Flaming June

    12 Jun, 2013 - 2:59 pm

    Boots on the ground. The photos within this link are grim especially the body language displayed in number 4.

  42. You are not ‘an old duffer’ Craig – stand strong. An unstable society needs experts.

  43. @ Komodo…
    “no-one gives a flying one unless they feel the same.” – sadly that seems to be very true of the majority. :(

  44. “… the civil rights of others whom authority deems suspicious or simply “in need of a good hiding”.” — Chris2

    Yep, after which they could be banged off to Van Diemen’s Land, out of sight and out of mind.

    Not that some of them didn’t still manage to ’cause trouble’.

    “Thomas Francis Meagher: After being convicted of sedition, he was first sentenced to death (he was sentenced to be “hanged, drawn and quartered”), but received transportation for life to Van Diemen’s Land in Australia. In 1852 he escaped and made his way to the United States, where he settled in New York City …

    “At the beginning of the American Civil War, Meagher joined the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of brigadier general.[1] He was most notable for recruiting and leading the Irish Brigade …

    “Following the Civil War, Meagher was appointed acting governor of the Montana Territory.”

    I had never heard that story until told it by an Australian around the year 2000.

  45. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    Benjamin Franklin

  46. Jack Straw: Aren’t we wonderful?
    (click for remark in context)
    William Hague: Yes, we’re bloody marvellous.
    All: Hip, hip, hooray.

  47. “…and ultimately will have neither”

    The final part of the Franklin quote is worth retaining I feel.

  48. Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley, Labour)

    ‘As one who continues to campaign for the young US-British soldier Bradley Manning, and exchanges e-mails and telephone calls with his defence counsel, can I assume that I am free from any surveillance, either from the United States or Britain?’

    William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative)

    ‘I can only reiterate what I said to my hon. Friend Mr Bone about the Wilson doctrine, and I believe that the right hon. Lady can be confident in that.’

    What he said to Mr Bone

    ‘There is a long-standing convention, named after a former Labour Prime Minister, which has always been upheld, so my hon. Friend and Mrs Bone can be assured of that.’

    What is the Wilson doctrine?

    The Wilson Doctrine is a ban on the tapping of UK MPs’ and Peers’ (but not members of devolved legislatures) telephones introduced in 1966 and named after Harold Wilson, the Labour Prime Minister who established the rule.

    The word “email” doesn’t appear.

  49. After this ‘Wilson Doctrine’ was already operational Hilary Benn informed his father Tony Benn, that he could pick up his fathers wired 1960s telephone conversations on an ordinary AM radio as could anyone else within a considerable range of their house. Benn then wasn’t only an MP but also a cabinet minister.

    Of course they’re monitoring those communications. Hague is a proven liar and a bad one.

    On pre-emptive policing, even if the alleged offence is trumped up nonsense, protesting your innocence vehemently will be considered a breach of the peace, not submitting to arbitrary arrest is ‘resisting arrest’. After arrest detention, photographing, fingerprinting and DNA swabs taken, an ‘offer’ whereby the original unsustainable allegation will be dropped but the breach and resisting arrest charges will be persisted with, an ‘opportunity’ to avoid court by payment of a fine would be made, and though this is effectively extortion, many will accept this. Choosing to defend all charges in court is the better option for bringing the system grinding to a halt and exposing the abuses this system perpetuates, but most will knuckle under to this intimidation and threat of a protracted affair and a worse outcome.

  50. “Whistle-blower Edward Snowden tells SCMP: ‘Let Hong Kong people decide my fate’
    Ex-CIA operative wants to remain in Hong Kong”

    Snowden said last night that he had no doubts about his choice of Hong Kong.

    “People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden said in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post.

    “I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts, because I have faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law,” he added.

    Snowden says he has committed no crimes in Hong Kong and has “been given no reason to doubt [Hong Kong’s legal] system”.

    “My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate,” he said.

    ‘Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai said he was surprised by Snowden’s choice, adding: “Snowden’s positive view of Hong Kong no longer matches the reality.”

    Law said a possible reason for his choice could be Hong Kong’s role as the region’s news hub.

    “Hong Kong remains a hub of the global media, not least because of its proximity to the economic boom in southern China and the ease of access to many other Asian cities. The publicity could complicate efforts by the United States to charge Snowden and have him deported,” he said.

    Snowden said yesterday that he felt safe in the city.

    “As long as I am assured a free and fair trial, and asked to appear, that seems reasonable,” he said.

    He says he plans to stay in Hong Kong until he is “asked to leave”.

    The United States has not yet filed an application for extradition.

    Snowden could choose to fight any extradition attempt in court. Another option open to him is to seek refugee status from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Hong Kong.

    The UNHCR would not confirm whether it had received an application for refugee status from Snowden.

    Earlier, in the interview in which he revealed his identity to the world, Snowden explained that he had sought refuge in Hong Kong because it “has a strong tradition of free speech” and “a long tradition of protesting in the streets.”

  51. On BBC News24 I can watch anti-government protests live from Turkey but not one single picture from the London G8 protests. Oh well, guess I’ll have to find out from the Russians what’s going on in my own country.

    Now I know how all those soviet citizens felt between 1945 and 1988; getting all their news from the ‘other side’. Does this mean I am now in a totalitarian society? You better believe it.

  52. “Hague is a proven liar and a bad one.”

    I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.

  53. There were even some old duffers on the streets yesterday.

  54. KingOfWelshNoir

    12 Jun, 2013 - 5:50 pm

    The Wilson doctrine is essentially a gentleman’s agreement then?
    That should be adequate :)

  55. Komodo
    ” our protesters are naive to think that, the police aren’t usually slightly ahead of their planning”

    Don’t be daft. Of course police tactics are considered. In my experience these protesters, on the sharp end, are far more aware of police tactics than theorists.

    And spontaneous mass uprisings are never entirely spontaneous – there is always a background of some sort of activists organising.

  56. Thanks Póló.

  57. Flaming June

    12 Jun, 2013 - 6:29 pm

    The loss of our freedom and liberty is linked so often to 9/11 from which the evil of ‘The War on Terror’ flowed. I have seen many references recently in op-ed articles.

    Here, for instance.

    Manning and Snowden in 2016?
    Boundless Patriotism

    by Frank Scott / June 12th, 2013

    ‘But after the 911 attacks on New York and Washington, whatever slight caution may have existed vanished as realistic fear of terrorism replaced fictional fear of communism. It was frightening enough to cause another rush of government intrusion into the lives of citizens, allegedly to save them from further terror attacks. While this argument still works for misinformed innocents, true believers and cynics who fully accept mass murder and deceit as necessary functions of the American marketplace, it is losing its strength among a growing minority.’

  58. Flaming June

    12 Jun, 2013 - 6:35 pm

    O/T Hester is leaving RBS with a package of £4.5m. It has been decided that he is not the right person to see its sale through according to Peston. Did Gideon get his orders last week in Watford?

    By rights, 60m of us actually own it. We forked out £45 billion to bail it out FFS.

  59. “The Wilson doctrine is essentially a gentleman’s agreement then?”

    and it’s qualified

    ‘But if there was any development of a kind which required a change in the general policy, I would, at such moment as seemed compatible with the security of the country, on my own initiative make a statement to the House about it.’
    —Harold Wilson, House of Commons

    ‘This meant that the Prime Minister could reverse the doctrine in the interests of national security, but that he did not need to reveal the fact to the House of Commons until he felt it safe to do so. In theory this means that the Wilson Doctrine could already have been reversed, with the Prime Minister having decided it was premature to disclose the fact.’

    and it goes on

    “In February 2008 it was reported that Sadiq Khan had been bugged whilst talking to a constituent in Woodhill Prison. However since this appeared to have been a face-to-face conversation, even if it was bugged, it may not have been a literal breach of the Wilson Doctrine. An inquiry was launched by Justice Secretary, The Rt Hon. Jack Straw MP.[4]

    “Further questions about the validity of the Doctrine arose in November 2008 after the home and Parliamentary offices of Damian Green MP were searched by the Metropolitan Police.[5] Other questions in the Lords asked whether communications which had been stored were protected by the same doctrine.[6]”

  60. Keith Crosby

    12 Jun, 2013 - 6:42 pm

    Pre-emptive Policing = riotous behaviour. Who needs the SA now?

  61. Yesterday it was really hard to join the demo. I presumed I was walking stright into a kettle or mass arrest. And it’s easy to convince yourself that it’s not really worth the effort. Really easy. Then my missus returned having met a distressed neighbour heading to commit crime. A pensioner, forced to shoplift food as a direct result of the bedroom tax. So I felt obliged to help keep the rozzers distracted while she popped down tescos. Apparently the trick is to pay for dirt cheap shit whilst bagging prime steak at the automatic checkouts. You live and learn.

  62. O/T
    Channel 4 currently reporting on the “Lib Dem ‘failure’ over Rennard harassment claims”

    Absolute disgrace

  63. @Dreoilin

    Harold Wilson and MI5 weren’t just on good terms, they didn’t trust him. It’s said that there were plans for a military coup to overthrow the Wilson government and install a government of business leaders led by Mountbatten which had the backing of MI5. Rumours had been started by some in the security services that he was working for the Russians.

  64. I have said this for a long time – if you can measure the shape and deformation of a person’s skull, you can often detect the unmistakable sloping brow and cranial bumpage of the career criminal and have a solid case for pre-emptively locking him up before he commits terrible crimes such as paedophilia, terrorism, loan defaulting and parking offences.

    Failing the early detection of such felons, I recommend acquiring the necessary skills for dealing with them in another pre-emptive way; namely, the ancient Welsh martial art of Llapgoch.

  65. Well, I would be on the streets but I still can’t walk! I think that qualifies me as an old duffer :-)

  66. “Rumours had been started by some in the security services that he was working for the Russians.”

    Well, Fred, it’s his ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that Hague is now pulling on. Probably not worth the paper it was never written on. And not because he was working for the Russians.

    Jemand, that was funny. But I must make clear that I love the Welsh, and their country. (Except during the Six Nations.)

    Craig, did you manage to see your private doctor yet??

  67. Jemand, you can joke, but in school in Aberystwyth in the 70s we were taught Llap Gogh as part of the curriculum. (Principally to defend ourselves against the school games teacher.)

  68. With all of these abuses by the state and its agents, it’s clear that if mass media doesn’t make a stand then it’s as if it never happened. Media today doesn’t just not make a stand. It operates as PR agency for the abusers.

    That’s the challenge. It’s media.

    Get that right and the abusers will be rather more circumspect.

    That’s why the Medialens project is so important.

  69. Down Memory Lane, memory hole…

    “Wilson was the victim of a protracted, illegal campaign of destabilisation by a rogue element in the security services.”

    A little superficial, but no matter, it’s as far as mainstream media will go, even after 30 odd years.

    Remember. They’re protecting us.

  70. If anyone wants to thank Edward Snowden, go here

    The goal is 50,000. Currently at 37,946.

  71. Ann Clwyd is now maintaining contact with Bradley Manning, and she worries her calls may be tapped. That is nice get out close for the Saddam Shredding machine investigator, whom as the chairman of “INDICT” (a poxy acronym, similar to the rash of many other poxy acronyms so fashionable in the run up to the slaughter in Iraq) she was busy selling the war on Iraq.

    Ann Clwyd, Labour MP for Cynon Valley and chair of Indict, a group that has been campaigning since 1996 for the creation of an international criminal tribunal to try the Baathists, wrote of the shredder in the Times on 18 March — the day of the Iraq debate in the House of Commons and three days before the start of the war. Clwyd described an Iraqi’s claims that male prisoners were dropped into a machine ‘designed for shredding plastic’, before their minced remains were ‘placed in plastic bags’ so they could later be used as ‘fish food’. Sometimes the victims were dropped in feet first, reported Clwyd, so they could briefly behold their own mutilation before death.

    The same Ann whose appearance changed from an unkempt, and dishevelled harriden to a millionaire post the war on Iraq. The same Ann who allegedly has extensive financial interests in Iraq (as per the rumour mill). Why is this character in touch with that poor bastard Bradley Manning? Further, why has she asked Billy fourteen pints about eavesdropping on her conversations with the said Bradley Manning? Does she not know that Bradley Manning is under a regime of Total Surveillance?

  72. Absolutely, Herbie. That’s why I said to a friend tonight: For the weather I watch TV; for knowledge I go online. But acting on that knowledge…that’s where Camus’ rebel has to take the first step. He has to say ‘no’.

    Or to paraphrase Peter Finch in ‘Network’: I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!

  73. Ex-CIA contractor speaks to reporter from secret location in Hong Kong, revealing fresh details of US surveillance, pressure on Hong Kong, snooping and cyber attacks on China.

    Seems Snowden has decided; “fuck this for a game of soldiers”, no longer content to play the game of the medjia in the West. He is now talking a lot more freely, and knows it will get published too. All the While, he is getting courted by the Russians.

  74. Craig,

    Hope you get it dealt with soon … get better … and get back out there.

  75. Pre-emptive policing? Predicted by Philip K Dick. Cross all your fingers and all your toes and hope that he was wrong about everything else.

  76. The Guardian has issued a statement in response to Rep. Peter T King’s call for the prosecution of Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald:

  77. I saw a documantary once (back in the days when I watched TV) where a man who had been bitten by a venomous snake narrated, day by day, the progress of the poisoning. He began the project because he didn’t think he would die. But he did.

    Is that what we’re doing here?

  78. Search engines (and the watchers) know all about you.

    This one claims to prevent that:

    Don’t forget to modify keyword.URL as well if using Firefox

  79. Fedup, as regards Ann Clwyd I couldn’t agree more. Why would someone so pro the Iraq war, who made visits to the Kurdish regions to push the Blair line, suddenly have sympathy for Bradley Manning? In my eyes she was a despicable careerist, at least at that stage of her career. However, people do change, and if it is genuine (how does anybody know?) then she is one of the few warmongers who has moved against the Blair doctrine. Perhaps she has re-discovered the roots that brought her into the Labour Party. We will never know. Perhaps she has had a vision of the prospects of war-crime courts like those held at Nuremberg after the Second World War. They are coming if the military does not destroy the world as we know it.

  80. Scouse Billy

    13 Jun, 2013 - 1:00 am

    KoWN – “Llap Gogh” (from the Brand New Bok), marvellous – that does take me back 😉

    Meanwhile, on the subject of how to overthrow your “dictatorship”:

  81. Nobody has mentioned Ritalin yet.

    Pre-emptive policing becomes redundant once pharmacological control is established. And the State can use genetic and or behavioural profiles, to target the ‘likely lads’ whilst they’re still at school.

    Remember when the film “Revenge of the Stepford Wives” was a brutish chauvinistic dystopian fantasy, where ‘freedom fighting women’ fought back, by killing a man? Now it’s those same women committing the real deal against boys; maybe the lads should strike a blow for liberty and equality?

  82. Fedup and John Goss your comments about Ann Clwyd are so true. Then I suddenly thought what if she isn’t an evil unprincipled witch but simply as stupid as she looks and swallowed unquestioningly a whole lot of Kurdish propaganda against Saddam!

  83. UK Duty Paid

    13 Jun, 2013 - 1:49 am

    JimmyGiro and ScouseBilly post one after the other

    I wonder if they fucked up?

    Is there any doubt that this behavior is sick? Obviously this is not true of all homosexuals. I feel no malice toward gays. I feel the same way about people who have the flu. I want them to get better and I don’t want it to spread.

  84. Komodo’s rant ( 12 June, 10.14 am) was, I hope, prescient. Let’s be loyal Turkish dissidents, like Boris’s great-grandfather – Ali Kemal Bey.

  85. It deters people from publicly demonstrating.

  86. Don’t be daft. Of course police tactics are considered. In my experience these protesters, on the sharp end, are far more aware of police tactics than theorists.

    And spontaneous mass uprisings are never entirely spontaneous – there is always a background of some sort of activists organising.

    I think I failed to get my point across clearly. Tactics, maybe. Not strategy. Not the bigger picture. Any demo you care to name has already been pre-empted, whether you as a demonstrator consider it a success or not. Its PR value – its only value, apart from adding to the list of personalities kept under surveillance, will automatically be nullified by police and government press releases which our wonderful press will print and broadcast intact and uncritically. Ensuring that no-one who doesn’t already feel that way, continues not to feel that way.

    And where there are ‘activists’ ‘organising’, there is a security breach. They’ve been infiltrated, 9 times out of 10. More than likely the press releases have been written before the demo takes place…in the press department there’s an assistant commissioner’s media specialist who’s getting very bored with his job.

    It’s a nice day out with your chums, enjoying the solidarity of a football crowd (the approved alternative?). You can learn about police tactics on the ground…it’s like a war game, isn’t it? But ultimately you achieve very little. Mr. Guardian says, yeah, right on, where’s my ciabatta? and Mrs Daily Mail says, they don’t look very clean and they sound rude. You’re not influencing anyone, ultimately.

  87. I see Erdogan is dangling the poisoned carrot of a referendum on Gezi Square’s redevelopment in front of the protestors. He may mean it. It may even be a fair referendum, and he may even be forced to concede, and that will still be a gain for him, because it will take the steam out of the Western-journo attracting treehuggers who kicked the protests off, and leave him free to use the police in the traditional Turkish way to mop up the politicos, quietly, in the following weeks.

  88. Komodo, the referendum will make it all about politics and detract from the basic environmental impact that is so obvious. Its an effective way of diffusing the energy of the young people who just want to live freely and get on with their day-to-day lives. In other words, manipulative. The only ray of hope is that people turn this tool around to reject the corruption inherent in these developments.

  89. Flaming June

    13 Jun, 2013 - 9:30 am

    Public Accounts Committee (chair Mrs Hodge) on Google’s tax arrangements.

    ‘HMRC must fully investigate Google over tax, say MPs
    Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, says HMRC should be “much more assertive”

    HM Revenue and Customs should “fully investigate” Google after information from whistleblowers “undermined” the firm’s defence of its tax arrangements, a committee of MPs has said.

    Google says that advertising sales take place in low-tax Ireland, not the UK.

    But the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said it had been told by ex-employees of the tech giant that UK-based staff are engaged in selling.’

    Google connections to No 10.

    One of those mentioned in the list above is Naomi Gummer, daughter of Tory peer Lord Chadlington who is Cameron’s neighbour. She was installed in Hunt’s DCMS as a civil servant. She married Henry Allsop, brother of the ubiquitous Kirstie and godson of Camilla. The Camerons and the Hunts attended the wedding as did Camilla.

    Another illustration of the connections within a pervasive ruling clique.

  90. New alert from Medialens

    ‘Limited But Persuasive’ Evidence – Syria, Sarin, Libya, Lies

  91. Anyone who saw the Panorama episode last night can not have failed to observe former British Army Colonel and corrupt politician Patrick Mercer giving advise to the fake lobby dude that they should sign up a couple of Labour criminals as the conservative criminals would not be in the next government.

    It was said so frankly and benignly that you have to seriously consider that the elections are one big charade played out by both parties to fool the public. No doubt they even discuss between themselves what policies will be continued by the ‘next government’ and which ones wont before they even draft their ‘manifesto’. This is how we end up with both ruling parties having the same policies apart from stupid, meaningless little details (as if ‘saving’ £100 million on £1 trillion debt is going to make any real difference) that get blown-up into grand ideological battles by the MSM.

    No one seems concerned that the Tories are running around telling us which deck-chairs to sit on while they are busy climbing into the life-boats with their pockets stuffed with cash and jewellery from the ships safe. People wake up – these criminals are looting what little is left of the public wealth before the whole thing blows up, when it does they will not be found anywhere in this country.

  92. This goes on all the time in just about every aspect of the news which is why most sensible people are turning to the internet for their information. One example is when the BBC talks about Iran, it talks about Iranian state television and the supreme leader as though it shows that Iran is an undemocratic country controlled by a regime, but the BBC is state television and the Queen is the supreme leader.

    Evidence of this briefly became a news story last year when it was found that the royal family had been getting in the way of laws that were not in their interest but suddenly Kate’s tits appeared the next week and everyone was encouraged to rally round the poor old royal family and give them their privacy.

    I’m not saying everything on the Internet is true or Iran is a great place and beacon to the world but you get a better idea of what western governments are up to if you look at Press TV or RT. An example being that the federal court of Canada confirmed that the countries 2011 federal election was fraudulent. This wasn’t reported in the BBC as far as I saw and if you type ‘Canadian government vote rigging BBC’ into Google the results list articles of vote rigging in Pakistan, Malaysia, Kenya, Ghana but no mention of Canada.

    As far as the police are concerned they are not there to protect us they are a corporation, the G8 employ them, pay them, to control the crowds outside of these events just like football clubs have to pay them to control football fans, if the protesters could pay them more they would probably be beating up dignitaries.

  93. Patrick Mercer – “In November 2011, the press reported that Mercer had been taped making disparaging remarks about David Cameron, calling him “despicable” and describing him as an “arse” and “the worst politician in British history since William Gladstone” (Wiki)

    What’s not to like? And what’s wrong with giving Fiji a bit of a boost, considering the input CERTAIN OTHER COUNTRIES AND ORGANISATIONS routinely get without any fuss at all to our noble, democratic Mother of Parliaments?

  94. “Nobody has mentioned Ritalin yet … Now it’s those same women committing the real deal against boys; maybe the lads should strike a blow for liberty and equality?”

    Yeah, because, as we all know, it’s women who are running Big Pharma. And they don’t target women with their products. Right.

  95. Komodo, the referendum will make it all about politics and detract from the basic environmental impact that is so obvious.

    Sorry, hadn’t you noticed? It is all about politics. It’s about a large chunk of the population objecting to Erdogan’s pro-religious, wannabe -caliphate policies. That’s probably much of the urban population of Western Turkey, who are very worried that Kemal’s secular idea of a Turkish state is being slowly rolled back. Erdogan’s demographic is more in Eastern and rural Turkey, and his policies are designed for that. The issue of Gezi Park was just the catalyst. If the development plans were dropped this minute, the discontent would continue unabated.

    It ties into the wider regional picture, too. I think Erdoğan has realised that for all the endless sweet talk from the EU, it’s never going to let Turkey in. He’s looking Eastward now. And he’s got the US-provoked Sunni-Shi’a war next door, in Syria. He doesn’t want that infecting Turkey next. He’s got to make it look as if Islam isn’t a dirty word in Turkey. He may be crazy (I’m not even now wholly convinced he is), but in foreign policy terms he’s not as crazy as he looks, much as he offends the relatively comfortable bourgeois in İstanbul.

  96. According to the BBC “China says it has “no information to offer” on Mr Snowden’s whereabouts.”

    Very clever wording. Its looking like Snowden is in China the rising counter-power to the US and in the most liberal Hong Kong but China nevertheless. China has recently been very obviously upping the ante against the US in the whole area of human rights and freedom.

  97. As pure as the driven snow.

    Stirrup And Dannatt: No Conduct Breach

    The peers are cleared of breaking parliamentary rules after claims they exploited their influence at the Ministry of Defence.

  98. Further info

    The Lord Stirrup GCB AFC
    Name Graham Stirrup
    Party/group Crossbench
    Joined the Lords 28 January 2011

    Register of Interests
    2: Remunerated employment, office, profession etc.
    Occasional consultancy on public and international affairs, *Hakluyt and Company (a strategic intelligence and advisory firm)
    3: Clients
    Occasional consultancy on public and international affairs, Hakluyt and Company (a strategic intelligence and advisory firm)
    7: Overseas visits
    Visit to Oman, 4-6 January 2013, for discussions with the government on international affairs; transport and accommodation provided by Government of Oman
    10: Non-financial interests (a)
    Director, City of London Sinfonia Orchestra
    10: Non-financial interests (b)
    Governor, Wellington College, Crowthorne, Berkshire
    Member, Advisory Board to Exeter University Security and Strategy Institute
    Member, Advisory Board to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on World War One Centenary Commemoration


    The Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC
    Name Francis Dannatt
    Party/group Crossbench
    Joined the Lords 19 January 2011

    Register of Interests
    2: Remunerated employment, office, profession etc.
    Speaker, Celebrity Speakers Agency (speaker bureau)
    Senior Adviser, Joule Africa
    Executive Chairman, Typhon (web and open source hosting services)
    Adviser, Capita Symonds (project management)
    Advisory Board Member, Targetfollow Ltd (property)
    Adviser, Board of Imeon Logistics
    10: Non-financial interests (b)
    Chairman, Strategic Development Board, Durham Global Security Institute
    10: Non-financial interests (c)
    Trustee, Historic Royal Palaces
    Trustee, Royal Armouries
    Constable, HM Tower of London


  99. John Goss, Fedup and Kathy,

    Your points noted and agreed, but Ann Clwyd’s campaigning on behalf of Bradley Manning appears to be genuine. She hosted a public meeting about how to get him moved from his parlous situation at Quantico at the Houses of Parliament back in 2011, which I attended; it’s where I first met the UK Friends of Bradley Manning people. She also lobbied really hard for UK intervention on the basis of Bradley Manning’s dual nationality (he’s half-Welsh). Apparently, this was the key thing that did the trick in the end in getting him moved to better conditions at Fort Meade – after much pestering from Ann Clwyd and her bringing the matter up in Parliament, the Brits did issue a formal diplomatic note to Washington.

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